What started out as a simple conversation between friends about today’s motherhood, developed into a rich nationwide chorus about the ways in which countless mothers are trying to “do it all” without losing their minds. We heard about this “great need” everywhere we went: on the sidelines of the soccer fields, at birthday parties, checking out at the grocery store, in carpool lines and in our offices.
In 2009, we turned this need to vent into a questionnaire in order to better frame the issues. Hundreds of ordinary, but remarkable women responded with pages of thoughts and a cry-out to talk some more. Some spoke about their never-ending days and nights leading to “Calgon, take me away” fatigue. Others shared how their bionic ambition, coupled with strong female role models, enabled them to strive for the glass ceiling. Women today are anything but dull.
So what the authors had discussed personally for years, evolved into an e-mail questionnaire that quickly spun into a meaningful dialogue with real women from all across the nation and beyond. Like a mini-wildfire, we heard from friends of friends of friends who wanted to share their thoughts, viewpoints, and feelings. Ah, Judy Blume’s “Margaret” has grown-up and is ready to make some waves.
We are currently researching and writing Rx for Real Women: Positive Selfishness (because all this leaning has left us bent and contorted) a compassionate and validating how-to book exploring the critical and everyday experience of modern motherhood with a “how-to” focus on the very real need to turn selfishness on its head, to re-frame what too many women see as selfish into a fuller understanding of the real need to take time and care of self. Women have told us that “Positive Selfishness” is a significantly more fun and meaningful way to advocate “self-care.” This saying is invaluable in that it provides the reader with the ability to rethink and reframe the notion that doing for self is negative.
As a grass roots, two-person team, first-time authors, Jennifer Finkelstein and Shari Berman, developed a platform, as well as fully integrating social media into their efforts through Facebook and Twitter. Consistent with their energies on the social media and web front, Jennifer and Shari’s enthusiasm and fresh perspective shine through in their book, designed to engage women in everyday conversations, water cooler talk, soccer sideline "a-ha-moments" and meaningful discourse on the complexities and challenges of modern motherhood. The beauty of this book is that it has been field tested in Jennifer’s clinical practice for the last 15 years, meshes with Shari’s experience dealing with working moms in the workplace, resonates with the laboratory of real women we’ve had the pleasure of speaking to and connecting with, in person, on-line and in our social networking, and of course perhaps most practically – has been proved to be true in Shari’s 12+ years of motherhood and Jennifer’s 11 years.
This book is highly relate-able, and it works like a GPS of sorts for the modern mom complete with directions (in the form of a prescription script at the end of each chapter), who from too much leaning in and out, is left feeling bent and contorted.
Our hope is that Rx for Real Women: Positive Selfishness becomes “the” book series that acts as a vehicle for further discussions. Like a forum for the issues of today’s women, RWT captures, frames and validates the experiences of so many of us who struggle daily to "do it all." Join us as we do some honest, thought-provoking talking. Let’s get real.
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